Jesuit pitcher aims for Team USA - FOX 13 News

Jesuit pitcher aims for Team USA

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The 18 and under USA baseball team has a roster of some of the most talented players in the country.  The Rays' BJ Upton played on it, as well as former Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir and former FSU and National League Rookie of the Year Buster Posey.

And soon, you might be able to add Jesuit's John Kilichowski. He's a 6'5" left hander who throws in the 90s.  Like the Rays' David Price, he has a scholarship to Vanderbilt, but right now he's trying to make Team USA. Friday is the final tryout. They are down to 28 players and only 20 make it. 

That's pressure, but John says that's the part of the game he loves. He likes feeling that excitement.

"Absolutely, I kind of like that pre-game nervousness. It gets my blood flowing and helps me compete at a higher level. I definitely control my nerves, that's part of it, and all of those guys do, they all feel it. But who can control it, you know, moves on and those guys all prove that they can," John said.

John is getting a lot of help from Geoff Goetz, a former Jesuit player.  He was a first-round draft pick who played nine years in the majors.  He also played for Team USA and feels John has what it takes to make this team.

"When he gets in games, it's like, ‘go time.' He isn't sitting there thinking about what it is that he's doing wrong, he's just thinking, ‘what is it that I have to do to succeed out here?' And it's pitch by pitch, and he's always been able to do that," Goetz said.

John says no matter what happens, he is happy to have made it this far.

"I definitely want to show them that they made the right decision. This is something that I've worked my whole life for, and I'm blessed that they chose me, and I'm happy with the 28 kids. It's a great group of guys, and they're gonna be narrowing it down to 20 next week, and hopefully I'll be a part of that group," he said.

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